Ahoskie man seeks answers after dogs kill family pet

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

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AHOSKIE – A local man is seeking to identify the owner of two dogs that came into his yard near here Saturday morning and killed his cat.

Jerry Morris, who resides on Corella Road – located in a residential community behind the Highway Patrol Station off NC 42 West – said the attack occurred shortly after 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 2.

“We let the cat out around that time, which is our normal routine,” Morris said. “I was about to take a shower when I heard a dog bark and a cat scream outside. My wife ran out to see what all the fuss was about and that’s when she saw the dogs. One of them had our cat in its mouth, shaking it like a rag doll. My wife hollered at the dog, and it dropped the cat from its mouth before running off with the other dog.”

Morris described the dogs as Pit Bulls, both dark brown with some darker coloring on them. He added that one dog was wearing a green-colored collar. The other dog was not wearing a collar.

“We’ve never seen those dogs before,” Morris noted. “I talked to all my neighbors, describing those dogs, and none had seen them before.”

Shortly following the deadly attack, Morris said he contacted the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office.

“Deputy Swain came that morning; he took our report of the incident and then rode around the neighborhood looking for the dogs, but he didn’t have any luck finding them,” Morris said. “The case is now in the hands of Hertford County Animal Control. I guess my only option is a civil matter if the owner of the dogs is identified.”

However, Morris stressed that he would like to see stiffer penalties result from the incident.

“We lost our beloved cat, and we have it all recorded on one of our security cameras,” he stated. “The owner of those dogs needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and the dogs need to be put down.”

Morris added that he used Facebook to post a still photo of the dogs in his yard as captured by the security camera.

“I can’t look at that video clip because it breaks my heart to see our cat being mauled and killed by those dogs,” he said. “We’re hopeful that the photo on Facebook will lead to the identification of the dogs’ owner.

“What really concerns me is the fact that we, along with many of our neighbors, go out for walks here in our quiet neighborhood,” Morris added. “What if those dogs come back and attack one of us, or even worse attack a child? Something needs to be done to prevent that from happening.”

Morris made reference to a state law (NCGS 67-4.1) that defines “potentially dangerous dogs” as follows:

Inflicted a bite on a person that resulted in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations or required cosmetic surgery or hospitalization; or

Killed or inflicted severe injury upon a domestic animal when not on the owner’s real property; or

Approached a person when not on the owner’s property in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack.

The state statute spells out the penalties for the owner of a dangerous dog that attacks a person and causes physical injuries requiring medical treatment in excess of $100, saying they are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The law adds that the owner of a dangerous dog shall be strictly liable in civil damages for any injuries or property damage the dog inflicts upon a person, his property, or another animal.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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